The music streaming platform claims to have seen a spike in the second half of the day
From organising live Instagram concerts with artists to launching user generated content for podcasts, audio streaming platform JioSaavn has adapted itself to the new normal. In conversation with BrandWagon Online, Mihir Shah, VP, consumer revenue, JioSaavn, talks about the platform’s strategy in the time of covid. (edited excerpts)
How has listenership evolved on JioSaavn, post Covid-19?
Prior to the spread of coronavirus, listeners mostly tuned in the morning at the time of commuting, while exercising and between office hours – at times. But now that listeners are not commuting or going to the gym, listenership in the first half of the day is flat. But, it rises between 6pm to 10pm, at the time when people are doing their chores. So, the peak in our listenership has shifted from the early part of the day to the second half of the day. Secondly, we have seen a change in the kind of music people. Audiences now opt for nostalgic and old music compared to recently released songs. Moreover, music is now being streamed on smart devices such as TVs and speakers as against smartphones.
Have you registered a rise in paid user base during lockdown?
Before Covid, the month-on-month grate rate was between 10%-10.5%. This has changed post Covid as month-on-month growth rate declined to nearly 6 %-6.5%. Though, technically our growth rate has gone down, but it hasn’t been negatively impacted from the listenership perspective. Our paid subscriber base is growing, albeit not at the same pace as before, but it is growing.
According to the business intelligence firm, Tofler, JioSaavn clocked Rs 1.26 crore in revenue at the year ended March 2019. Please note the period between January 2018 to March 2019 is not comparable as it reflects revenue from 15 months of operations. Keeping in mind the impact of coronavirus on the platform, what are your plans to bridge the gap that formed from losing both ad revenue and paid subscription revenue?
From a subscription standpoint, we have launched a bunch of new features on the platform which is already helping us catch up and bridge the gap. For instance, one of the key features that we launched in late April is called Pro Rewards. Meant only for pro subscribers with this offering we have combined music and lifestyle rewards. Users get access to deals and subscriptions to merchandise services and music events. Currently, we have deals such as a 45% discount from Skullcandy, forming a partnership with Sarvayoga, which is giving 42 free sessions to our user base, among others. Secondly, we have started launching some of our original content on podcasts which are exclusive for pro users. The content is behind the paywall.
How does the platform plan to strengthen its music library as the release of films on big screen is on a pause?
This is where we leverage our in-house music label titled Artists Originals – where we work with a lot of Indian artists. In fact we recently released a new track by Zaeden called Dooriyan. Further, have insights and data of what people are listening to for every market and we make use of that data. We use data to discover artists and we work with them to understand what genre music is working, what is their preference, what is their style, what do people love about them and based on that, we work with them in creating Hindi music. In fact, not only do we do this for these songs, but we’re also doing it for regional music for Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu. As a result, our listenership of artists originals has in fact, almost doubled in the corona timeframe.
What is your marketing strategy when it comes to in-house music artists?
Marketing is basically a bespoke plan depending on the addressable audience. As a brand, we generally take a streaming first approach wherein we leverage our database to successfully market the new soundtracks. The listener comes to know about them via notifications, and on platform display ads as well as social media. Moreover, artists use their own social media handles to drive awareness regarding their new soundtracks